When you have decided to buy a used car the next thing you need to do is to shop around. Before that, you should fix a budget in your mind. You have to remember that it is not just the cost of the car that you will incur but also regular expenses like fuel, maintenance etc. If you are going for finance, then you will have to pay the interest too. Remember that there are quite a few choices available and you are in no hurry.

Shop around a lot and get the best bargains. Do not finalize the deal unless you are fully satisfied with the car both mechanically and legally. Do a VIN check before you sign the papers.

There are three options for you to buy a used car from – A dealer, an auction house or a private seller. Let us see the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options.

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Purchase From A Dealer

Purchasing from a dealer gives you a lot of options. There are many dealers who have a huge stock of the cars. You can be almost sure of getting a good car at your budget. If you negotiate well some dealers may even throw in some freebies.

Dealers in most states and territories offer a day of cooling off period. Which means that even after you sign everything you get one day to change your mind provided you didn’t take the car away from the dealer. A dealer has to offer you a statutory warranty. In most states, this is for cars which have run less than 160,000 km or less than 10 years old. The warranty is for three months or 5000 km whichever comes earlier.

They usually have a lot of information about the car. They are supposed to tell you whether there is any money owed on the car. Withholding information can get them penalized severely. This is a safety that you get with buying from a dealer. There is a chance to trade in your old car.

Purchasing from dealers cost you more than purchasing from a private seller.

Buying At An Auction House

There is very little safety for you. Normally you cannot do any detailed inspection or take the car for a test drive. You have to depend on your visual inspection. Rules regarding warranty differ from state to state which you need to check.

Purchasing From A Private Seller

Buying from a private seller costs you much lesser than a dealer. But you don’t find much choice unless there is a car market nearby. You can get the car inspected and even take a test drive. You can bargain for a good price if the seller is in a hurry to sell.

You don’t get any warranty in private sales. You have to rely on what information the seller tells you. You should necessarily do a PPSR search before you buy the vehicle to ensure that there is no money owed on the car. You can also check whether the car is stolen or written off.

You should see the pros and cons and go for whichever method suits you best.